Working on Movement Pitches

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To work on movement pitches, I have my pitchers stand in a line a short distance from me in a power position (stride taken) and softly toss the ball using the proper rotation for peel drop, roll drop, and rise ball.

Proper Placement

While doing this, emphasize proper weight distribution. This is the most important aspect when throwing a breaking pitch. For drop balls, the weight must be on the front foot at release. For rise balls, the weight must be on the trail foot and release must be against a firm and resistant front foot.

After 10 to 15 pitches from this distance, we move back to about 25 feet and throw at about 50% speed. We throw 10 to 15 pitches at this distance.

Perfect Form

Finally we move to the regulation distance and throw 10 to 15 pitches at full speed. Make sure that at each distance, the rotation and weight distribution is correct. If not, correct it immediately, before moving on to the next distance. At first, do not be concerned with accuracy. This will come with reps.

After all these pitches have been thrown, I have the pitchers throw peel drop, roll drop, change-up, fastball and rise ball in that order to feel the difference in pitches.

Putting It All Together

Finally I give the pitchers 10 pitches to hit 8 spots. I hold my glove at a certain location and the pitch has to hit it without moving the glove. If they hit these locations in the 10 pitches or less, they are done, if not, they must go to the end of the line and try again. Peer pressure works wonders here. I have the pitchers throw over hand again to cool down once practice is done.

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